Archive for the ‘Funding’ Category

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Washington, D.C, is the “pre-K capital,” “where nearly all 4-year-olds (and most 3-year-olds!) go to school,” according to the online news site LA School Report.

Why does a California-based publication care about Washington, D.C? Because Los Angeles is about to make its own investment in early education.

What makes D.C. a pre-K capital?

“Spurred by a landmark 2008 law, the District enrolls 85 percent or more of its four-year-olds (depending on who’s counting) and an even more remarkable 60-plus percent of three-year-olds.”

So on a Wednesday morning at “the Lincoln Park campus of AppleTree Early Learning, a network of pre-K charter schools,” young students are “nearing the end of a three-week unit on paleontology and archeology.” (more…)

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Photo: "At Smart Center pre-K today, it turned out my glasses weren't quite the perfect fit..." Mayor Kenney's Facebook page

Photo: Mayor Jim Kenney “At Smart Center pre-K today, it turned out my glasses weren’t quite the perfect fit…” Source: Mayor Kenney’s Facebook page

Philadelphia has a new first: the city is using a tax on soda to support an expansion of early education and other public programs.

Last month, “The City Council gave final approval to a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on sugary and diet beverages,” according to the local ABC television station.

“Only Berkeley, California, had a similar law. Soda tax proposals have failed in more than 30 cities and states in recent years. Such plans are typically criticized as disproportionately affecting the poor, who are more likely to consume sugary drinks.

“But Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney sold the council on the idea with a plan to spend most of the estimated $90 million in new tax revenue next year to pay for prekindergarten, community schools and recreation centers. Kenney says the tax will generate $386 million over 5 years.” (more…)

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

“What does it take to get preschool right?” NPR asks in this article.

Answers can be found in a new report from The Learning Policy Institute (LPI) called, “The Road to High-Quality Early Learning: Lessons from the States.”

The institute “conducts and communicates independent, high-quality research to improve education policy and practice.”

“Although many studies show that high-quality preschool returns $7 to $10 for every dollar invested, the research shows that it is not so easy to create high-quality preschool at scale, and not all programs reap these benefits,” Linda Darling-Hammond, president and CEO of the LPI says in a press release. “This study looks deeply at how governments can design and implement programs that pay off for their children and their state.”

NPR says the report “helps balance the preschool debate by highlighting a handful of states that appear to be getting pre-K right: Michigan, West Virginia, Washington and North Carolina.” (more…)

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Cape Cod educators are busy putting together a promising new preschool plan, thanks to a grant from Massachusetts’ Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative.

Using this funding, educators from the Dennis-Yarmouth and Monomoy Regional School Districts are working with leaders from the Cape Cod Collaborative and with private preschools in Dennis, Yarmouth, Chatham, and Harwich to increase preschool quality and access.

This group will submit a proposal to the Department of Early Education and Care by the end of this month. The plan is one of 13 that have been drafted by similar teams in communities across Massachusetts communities this year.

The Cape planning team presented its proposal at “Envisioning Preschool for Every Child,” an open community forum that was held on June 14 at Cape Cod Regional Technical High School. A reporter from the Cape Cod Chronicle covered the event.  (more…)

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Video Source: ABC television’s rtv6


Glenda Ritz, Indiana’s superintendent of schools, is calling on legislators in her state to fund a universal pre-k program. It’s a big step given that some states are only focusing on pre-k for low-income children, but Ritz has a plan.

An Associated Press story features this quote:

“‘The funds are there if the political will exists,’ said Ritz, who is the only Democrat elected to statewide office. ‘With less than 1 percent of the state’s annual budget, we can ensure that most of our children are kindergarten ready.'”

The article adds, “Ritz estimates her plan would cost about $150 million a year and could be paid for with federal funds, reprioritizing some state spending and rededicating money budgeted for other types of child-welfare programs that goes unspent.” (more…)

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Paul Tucker

Photo from Rep. Paul Tucker’s Facebook page

Each year for five years, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has run an Early Learning Fellows program: a dynamic effort that’s designed for emerging leaders – legislators and legislative staff members.

“The program is geared toward those chairing or serving on human services, education or appropriations committees who want to expand their knowledge and learn from other legislators and experts across the country,” NCSL explains on its website.

The training is important because, “States have been leading efforts to improve the quality of child care, implementing preschool and innovative ways to support families with young children across the age spectrum from birth to kindergarten and into the early grades. They are also addressing challenges with governance, financing, data systems and teacher training/professional development.”

This year’s class includes State Representative Paul Tucker (D-Salem), as well state legislators from California, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wyoming. (more…)

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

How do you pay for preschool when there’s a shortage of state and federal funding? This is a question many local communities are wrestling with today, including several here in Massachusetts.

Across the country, local communities are reaching into their own pockets to “create programs tailored to suit the needs of their residents,” New America’s EdCentral blog explains.

This local action is crucial because “Nationwide, only four out of ten four-year-olds attend preschool each year, despite the widely accepted array of benefits an early start to education can provide a child.”

The blog reviews a new report from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) that looks at pre-K in 10 cities, including Boston as well as Denver, Los Angeles (LAUP), New York City, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and West Sacramento.

Upon reviewing these local pre-K models, the report’s authors suggest “ten questions that any city or community working to expand pre-K opportunities for its residents should consider.” (more…)

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